Cleveland Cavaliers: Biggest Questions for 2022-23

As we steam quickly toward the opening of training camp later this month, we continue our Biggest Questions series for each team around the league, with a move now to the Central Division. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers have made the biggest splash of the offseason, landing three-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell in a 4-player, multi-draft pick trade with the Utah Jazz. This gives the Cavs a 'Big 4' of point guard Darius Garland, center Jarrett Allen, power forward Evan Mobley and shooting guard Mitchell. It appears to be a perfect fit with those four in the starting lineup. 

This leads us to our first question mark for the Cavs:

Big Question #1: Who will start at small forward?

The candidates are Isaac Okoro and Caris LeVert. Okoro was the primary starter at the '3' for the Cavs last season, slotted into the Starting Five on 61 occasions. He averaged 8.8 points, 3 rebounds and shot 35% from three-point land. 

LeVert had actually been pencilled in to start at the two-guard this season before the arrival of Spida. He now could either slide over to play small forward in that lineup (where he would not have a very high usage rate), or he could be utilized as a 6th Man. In the latter case, as noted by Chris Fedor of, it would actually allow LeVert to take on a higher-usage role, initiating more offense, and giving the second unit a bigger offensive boost. 

Big Question #2: When does Ricky Rubio return and what impact can he have?

Everyone in Cleveland was thrilled with the re-signing of free agent Rubio. The 11-year veteran was a major part of the Cavs' resurgence last season before tearing his ACL in late December. But that injury normally takes about 12 months for a full recovery, and now on the wrong side of 30, that could even be an optimistic projection. 

Fedor says he's hearing that they will not be rushing him back; it'll probably be January or February before Rubio is back in the lineup. "The other thing I continue to hear is that ... how effective he’ll be this year over the final few months of the regular season will be hard to predict," Fedor said.

"The Cavaliers gave him a multi-year contract because they’re looking at him in year two of his recovery (next season) as when he’ll be most effective and more like the player he was at the start of last season when the Cavaliers were 20-14 with him in the lineup."

Heading into camp, the only other point guard on the roster is Raul Neto. Another addition is still likely, at least to get them through to when Rubio returns. There are still some free agent point guards on the market. 

Photos:   , Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports